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NCAA Basketball

Brains Apparently Optional in College Basketball Play Grade Talk

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

I am not one of the many folks who are crying about all the upsets going on in college basketball this season. Nor am I one of those killjoys who constantly complain of bad offense on Twitter. I thoroughly enjoy all of the madness that is coming well before the month of March even begins. For those of you who just joined the college hoops party, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation has fallen more times than Tom Arnold on a drunken bender. For some reason or another people want to associate the lack of a dominate team as being bad basketball.

To them I say, touche. Not because they haven gotten it right but because they clearly are so dumb, yet have a platform to spew their uneducated rhetoric, that all you can do is tip your hat towards their ability to have and hold a job. However, those lunatics have more evidence to add towards their argument as another No. 1  ranked team fell last night. Not that the game won’t be broken down to the point of nausea, but it is nice to see Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean is practicing the opposite of defense on final possessions:

Sure, was that the kind of defensive stance you would expect from the No. 1 ranked team in the nation? The short answer is no. But to keep using upsets as your main argument against college hoops this season would be pretty dumb. Everyone likes upsets, nobody watches the first round of March Madness and hopes that chalk prevails. I mean, how else would your aunt keep winning the tourney pool if she only bet on cute mascots, would you like her to actually do research? College hoops is on its way to parlaying March Madness success to regular season ratings, is that such a bad thing?

Upsets are at the core of what makes all college sports great. While the professional leagues’ regular seasons mean a little less because of the length of the seasons, it is also their inability to create meaningful upsets in the middle of those long seasons that prevent them from having special moments like college sports have. We laugh for a day when the Washington Wizards upset the Miami Heat but then move on. When it happens in college, we all go bonkers and break it down until we can justify the reasons the Club St. Pool Cleaners went to Cameron Indoor Stadium and pulled off a shocker. It is one, of the very few, reasons why college hoops can at times be better than the NBA.

But still, casual brainwashed college basketball fans are not satisfied. You listen to lazy writers tell you how college hoops is down this year. How the lack of scoring is directly attributed to the lack of good players. Again, I say touche to those people as they apparently don’t actually watch any of the games. I, again, can only congratulate them for ONLY looking at box-scores and not seeing the humorous amount of contact in every game that makes scoring points within 13 feet nearly impossible.

What is that you say, what in the Sam Cassell am I talking about? Watch a game, any game, in any conference. Haven’t you noticed an unusual amount of jump shots being taken by teams? Teams mind you, that probably don’t have an abundance of deadly mid-range to deep ball shooters. Reason being, referees have officially swallowed the whistle. While we all cry for referees to let the kids play, they are doing so at the detriment of the game.

You currently have to be built like a member of the PED All-Stars to even attack the rim. Players who throw caution to the wind and attack the basket are not only met with WWE like punishment, they walk away (If they can) without a foul being called. In turn, coaches, who know far more about the game of basketball than a talking-head, are making adjustments. One of the biggest they have made is keeping guards away from the hoop, instead opting for less efficient mid-range jump shots. When a team starts to rely heavily on lower percentage field goal attempts, naturally the scoring is going to go down.

I’m not solely blaming the officials. For years they have been told to let the players play, we are as much to blame as they are for the lack of fouls being called. But even with low scoring games it doesn’t equate to a horrible hoops season. However, I guess at the end of the day it depends on the type of person you are. Either you always loved college hoops and will defend it regardless or you’re a casual fan who only gears up for March. Both of which are completely fine but it is those people who haven’t watched the entire season that are the ones calling it a bad year.

Storylines have been great this season. Whether it has been the polarizing Marshall Henderson, the rotation of No. 1 ranked teams, upsets nearly every night, or Bill Walton continuing his quest to get Ben Howland fired, college basketball is as good as it has ever been.

You know what, I am wrong. There is more than two types of college basketball fans, there is a third. The “fan” who doesn’t watch any of the games, doesn’t have the ability to form his or her own opinion, sees another one of the same kind of people say something bad about college hoops, then runs with it and spreads lies about a game they know nothing about.

Which fan are you? Can you form your own opinion or do you need to be told whether or not you should enjoy this college basketball season?

Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone